IBM has developed a computer system called Watson to play the game Jeopardy. The real importance of this feat by the IBM researcher is how this technology and knowledge could be applied to other needs of our society.
This could be the turning point for expert system where learning machine and huge databases could help find solutions to any number of problems in a fraction of a second and help human experts make better decisions.
For example, I see such system play a role some day in those area (examples)
- You are a customer at Bell, you call for a problem with you cell phone. The system ask you to describe in details to the computer, the nature of your call while you wait for a person. The system listen all the clues and words of your problem and inside a couple of milliseconds, search through millions of previous documented cases, Q&A and Facts and present the most likely scenario to resolve the issue to the customer representative taking the call. This could help expedite the time to resolution and the overall satisfaction of both the client and customer representative.
- You go to the hospital for some symptoms, the nurse ask you for the your basic information and symptoms and take different measurements. All those informations are "automatically" entered in the expert system and again, searching all medical databases, could come up inside milliseconds with a resolutions, analysis and case urgency that would be added automatically to the patient case file. The nurse would be then able to better dispatch the patient to a doctor according to those results. Thus saving life and reducing the wait time by providing better diagnostic. In this case, the system could be called House, not Watson
- The are other example of this, Google could have such a system where any questions could be ask online and a complete answer with references and notes would be provided in this format:
View Watson (artificial intelligence software) and over 3,000,000 other topics on Qwiki.
Here's a playlist of the NOVA intro and show, followed by the Jeopardy challenge.
Want to know more, the New-York times as a good piece on the subject.